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Medusa Speaker Cable ~ Stage III Concepts

Until now, I've only auditioned Stage III Concepts power cord products. The latest models—the Kraken and the Leviathan—are outstanding, at the top of the game in the category.

The Medusa Speaker Cable is the first signal wire in the revised product line. When the distributor told me it had the same voicing as those power cords, frankly, I was skeptical. First listen proved me wrong. The Medusa is a worthy companion to the Kraken and Leviathan.

Stage III has hit another home run. It should be clear by now that the Medusa Speaker Cable from Stage III gets my top recommendation. (There's more to come. The recently released Gorgon Interconnect is now in house. Spoiler alert: the Gorgon sports nearly the same voicing. Stay tuned.)

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Positive Feedback 3/1/2016
Ikeda KAI MC Cartridge

The Ikeda Sound Labs KAI is a world-class moving-coil cartridge with very low output and a low compliance. It must be carefully mated with a low-noise, high-output phono preamplifier and a tonearm massive enough to produce a resonant frequency below 13Hz. Those requirements met, the KAI delivered prodigious dynamics, expansive soundstages, electrostatic-like transparency, fast and clean transients, and about as much detail and overall excitement as any cartridge I've heard.

I spent a long time with the Ikeda KAI, and genuinely enjoyed all of it. It correctly performed all of a cartridge's housekeeping chores-excellent tracking, super quiet groove tracing, a complete absence of mechanical artifacts-and its low residual coloration and fleet-footed overall sound made for many evenings of satisfying, exhilarating listening.

- Michael Fremer

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Stereophile 6/1/2015
Stage III Leviathan Power Cord

Stage III Concepts has done it again. The critical acclaim and consumer acceptance of the Kraken model provided the needed incentive to venture forth where few wire manufacturers dare to tread. The result is a product that multiplies the performance of the Kraken. You have to experience it for yourself. Try to arrange an audition to see what this level of cable engineering can do.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 4/9/2015
Ypsilon Aelius Amplifiers

Whether the Aelius was paired with the matching PST 100 or my Trinity Preamp, the verdict was the same. These products are communication specialists. Everybody enjoyed them.

I was very tempted to hold on to them and make them my new reference. That would have been a radical jump from my Soulution 710 Stereo Amp. Yes, they're that good.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 9/1/2014
Ypsilon PST100 MKII Preamplifier

Looking for a rich, full, resonant sound, as opposed to a focused, analytic one? Look no further. "Man, what a natural, refined sound!" was the panel's enthusiastic verdict on the Ypsilon PST100 MkII Preamp.

Here's the scoop: For those who are looking for a little bit of creature friendliness served up along with excellent grades on the audio scorecard, you'd be hard pressed to find better than the PST100 MkII at any price.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 7/1/2014
PowerSlave Marble Power Distributor

When you are building a house, you have to start with a solid foundation. The HB Cable Design PowerSlave Marble Distributor lays down the most solid foundation I've encountered.

The Marble heightens the audiophile experience in many ways. At the same time, you do not lose any part of the music—it does it all. This is a product with no caveats to report!

If I had an unlimited budget, I'd sooner purchase the HB Marble than any power distributor or conditioner on the market.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 3/29/2014
Stage III Kraken + HB PowerSlave Marble

Since employing the use of the Stage III, HB Systems, I cannot think of a single instance when I have become really irritated at engineering or re-mastering issues. In the past, I would sometimes reject records or CDs five minutes into the listening because I found them so annoying. Now, I feel like I’m more able to listen past the imperfections, and hear the music. The music is more… there.”

At the end of the reviewer loan, I opted to purchase both the HB Systems Marble PowerSlave and the Stage III Kraken. Given the improvement to my listening enjoyment, they were well worth the price.

- Fred Crowder

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Dagogo 2/22/2014
HB Cable Design PowerSlave Acrylic

The HB Cable Design PowerSlave Acrylic Distributor does some wonderful things for your power line.

Bottom line: If I had an unlimited budget, I'd sooner purchase the HB Acrylic than any power distributor or conditioner on the market.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 1/1/2014
Hartvig Signature TT Turntable

The real question raised by this turntable is just how it achieves such a remarkably musical and involving performance.

Whether by art or design, an innate feel or a deep understanding, Soren Hartvig has produced a genuinely impressive product that succeeds on every level; beautifully presented and flawlessly finished, it is as individual in appearance as it is confident in performance.

In a fast-moving world of computer-based, downloadable, high-res digital audio formats, many an audiophile is seeking serious, solid musical energy and dynamics from a high-resolution source, one that offers a huge range of affordable and readily available software.

Isnt it ironic that that is exactly whats on offer here? If you really want high-res musical and audio performance, believe me when I say that this is it!

- Roy Gregory

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The Audio Beat 11/29/2013
HB Cable Design PowerSlave Marble

Let me be honest: After all the great and some not-so-great power conditioning products I have owned and/or reviewed, I simply was stunned by the improvement the HB Marble made in the sound of my system. After the time I had just spent with the Audience aR6-T, the Synergistic Research Tesla PowerCell with active power cords, the HB Acrylic, and the new Audience aR-6TSS (by the way, all incredibly good units) I just wasn’t prepared for how much better my system sounded with the HB Marble in the system.

If you can afford the HB Marble and your system is at the place that this could be your next big step, then go for it. You won’t be disappointed!

- Jack Roberts

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Dagogo 10/23/2013
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